The 2020 College Football All-Bowl Season Team

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 12, 2021

The 2020 College Football All-Bowl Season Team

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    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    Another exciting college football bowl season wrapped up Monday night.

    For the third time in the last six years, Alabama reigns supreme following a dominant 52-24 victory over Ohio State. Stellar performances from quarterback Mac Jones and Heisman Trophy-winning wide receiver DeVonta Smith are largely to thank, and both earned a spot on the 2020 All-Bowl team.

    Regular-season performance held no bearing in selecting the All-Bowl squad, as we were simply looking for the most productive players at each position during bowl season.

    The All-Bowl roster followed the same formatting as the AP All-American team, but with one minor tweak: One team's entire offensive line was selected rather than five individual players from various squads.

    Let's get to it.

Quarterback

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    Roger Steinman/Associated Press

    QB Mac Jones, Alabama

    Had we excluded the national championship game from the conversation, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields would have been the obvious choice after he threw for 385 yards and six touchdowns against Clemson in the Sugar Bowl.

    However, there is no ignoring what Mac Jones did Monday night, and he was no slouch in Alabama's Rose Bowl win over Notre Dame, either, when he completed 25 of 30 passes for 297 yards and four touchdowns.

    He then put on a clinic against the Buckeyes in the national championship game, connecting on 36 of 45 attempts for 464 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions.

    At the same time, Fields struggled through a 17-of-33 passing night for 194 yards and one touchdown, adding 67 yards rushing on six carries.

Running Backs

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    Camerun Peoples
    Camerun PeoplesRichard Shiro/Associated Press

    RB Camerun Peoples, Appalachian State

    Running for an FBS bowl game record 317 yards on 22 carries and tying the record with five rushing touchdowns is a sure-fire way to earn a spot on the All-Bowl team. Granted, Peoples was facing a North Texas defense that ranked 124th against the run, but it was a staggering total nonetheless.

                               

    RB Najee Harris, Alabama

    Ohio State running back Trey Sermon injured his collarbone on the Buckeyes' opening drive and was taken to hospital for further evaluation, finishing the game with one carry for two yards. That opened the door for Harris to claim the second running back spot, and he delivered with 22 carries for 79 yards and two touchdowns. He had 15 carries for 125 yards and one memorable hurdle against Notre Dame in the Rose Bowl.    

Wide Receivers and Tight Ends

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    DeVonta Smith
    DeVonta SmithAssociated Press

    WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama

    The Heisman Trophy winner turned in his eighth multi-touchdown game of the season against Notre Dame in the Rose Bowl, hauling in seven receptions for 130 yards and three scores. He then dwarfed that performance with an epic showing in the national championship game, tallying 12 receptions for 215 yards and three touchdowns, with all of that production coming in the first half.

                

    WR Brennan Presley, Oklahoma State

    After tallying just one reception during the regular season, Presley enjoyed a coming-out party during the Cheez-It Bowl against Miami. The true freshman and 3-star recruit had six catches for 118 yards, and he found the end zone three times in a 37-34 victory for the Cowboys.

              

    TE Brevin Jordan, Miami

    The 6'3", 245-pound Jordan finished the season second on the Hurricanes in receptions (38) and tied for the team lead in receiving touchdowns (seven). He had his best game in the Cheez-It Bowl, tallying eight catches for 96 yards and two touchdowns. He also carried the ball once for one yard and completed a 15-yard pass.

Offensive Line

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    Iowa State

    No team other than Army with its triple-option attack had more rushing attempts than the 56 carries Iowa State pounded out against Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl.

    The resulting 228 rushing yards were not a gaudy total by any means, especially compared to some of the other rushing performances put on in bowl games, but they perfectly fit the recipe for success the Cyclones have followed all season.

    All-American running back Breece Hall had 34 carries for 136 yards and two touchdowns, and Iowa State absolutely dominated the time of possession battle by a staggering 42:48-to-17:12 margin.

    None of that would have been possible without one of the best offensive lines in the country, and the result was a dominant 34-17 victory.

All-Purpose Player

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    Bijan Robinson
    Bijan RobinsonEric Gay/Associated Press

    RB Bijan Robinson, Texas

    A 5-star recruit and the top running back in the 2020 class, Bijan Robinson put together a solid freshman season for Texas while splitting carries with Roschon Johnson and Keaontay Ingram out of the backfield.

    After a 172-yard, three-touchdown performance on the ground against Kansas State in the regular-season finale, he proved unstoppable once again against Colorado in the Alamo Bowl. He finished with 10 carries for 183 yards and a touchdown while also adding a pair of receiving touchdowns on his only two receptions and returning one kickoff 16 yards.

Defensive Line

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    Liberty's blocked field goal
    Liberty's blocked field goalMatt Stamey/Associated Press

    DE Tyree Johnson, Texas A&M

    The Texas A&M defensive front limited North Carolina to just 90 rushing yards on 34 carries, and they were also in the backfield for four sacks. Johnson finished the game with six tackles (four solo), two tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks to lead the way statistically along the defensive line.

            

    DE Will McDonald IV, Iowa State

    McDonald now has an FBS-leading 10.5 sacks after getting to Oregon quarterback Tyler Shough once in the Cyclones' Fiesta Bowl win. That marked a significant step forward statistically after he tallied six sacks as a redshirt freshman in 2019. He also added six tackles (four solo) and 1.5 tackles for loss in Iowa State's bowl victory.

           

    DT Elijah James, Liberty

    The Cure Bowl was a wild one with Liberty squandering what looked like a sure win with a late fumble, only to pull out the victory in overtime. James had two tackles from his starting defensive tackle spot, but his biggest contribution came on the final play of the game when he blocked Massimo Biscardi's 42-yard field-goal attempt to seal the victory.

            

    DT Tristan Nichols, Nevada

    Despite seeing limited action during the regular season, Nichols made his presence known against Tulane in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. He recorded four tackles and two sacks, which came on back-to-back plays during a fourth-quarter drive on which Green Wave quarterback Michael Pratt was sacked on three straight plays before a punt on 4th-and-34.

Linebackers

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    Azeez Ojulari
    Azeez OjulariBrynn Anderson/Associated Press

    LB Azeez Ojulari, Georgia

    Ojulari earned second-team All-SEC honors during the regular season, and he took home defensive MVP honors in Georgia's 24-21 victory over previously undefeated Cincinnati in the Peach Bowl. He recorded four tackles, three sacks and two forced fumbles in the game, and his final sack was a safety on the final play of the game to seal the win.

          

    LB Josh Chandler-Semedo, West Virginia

    Aside from recording his first interception of the campaign and forcing his first fumble, Chandler-Semedo also posted season highs in total tackles (13) and solo tackles (10). That helped limit the Army triple-option attack to just 3.1 yards per carry during a 24-21 victory in the Liberty Bowl.

            

    LB Jack Sanborn, Wisconsin

    Sanborn led Wisconsin in tackles (52) in 2020, and he was all over the place in the Duke's Mayo Bowl with 11 tackles (6 solo), two tackles for loss and an interception. The Badgers picked off Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman four times en route to a 42-28 blowout win.

Defensive Backs

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    Tre Sterling
    Tre SterlingJohn Raoux/Associated Press

    CB Justin Birdsong, Georgia Southern

    The Georgia Southern secondary limited two different Louisiana Tech quarterbacks to 19-of-38 passing for 119 yards while picking off four passes along the way. Birdsong had two of the interceptions, and he added a solo tackle in a lopsided 38-3 victory in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.

           

    CB Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State

    A freshman All-SEC selection, Forbes came to Mississippi State as a 4-star recruit and the No. 13 cornerback in the 2020 class. He had four interceptions during the regular season and added a fifth in the Armed Forces Bowl, taking it back 90 yards for a touchdown. It was a one-point game at the time, and that pick-six helped swing the momentum to the Bulldogs in what wound up being a 28-26 win.

             

    S Tre Sterling, Oklahoma State

    Sterling ranked among the Big 12 leaders in total tackles (74, eighth), solo tackles (51, third) and tackles for loss (11, ninth) in 2020, and he filled up the stat sheet in the Cheez-It Bowl. The junior safety had 13 tackles (8 solo), 2.5 tackles for loss, 0.5 sacks and a pass deflection.

           

    S Bryce Cosby, Ball State

    One of the defensive stars on an upstart Ball State squad, Cosby had nine tackles (eight solo) and an interception in the Cardinals' victory over San Jose State in the Arizona Bowl. The Spartans completed just 56.5 percent of their pass attempts and threw four interceptions in the 34-13 loss.

Specialists

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    Alex Barbir
    Alex BarbirMatt Stamey/Associated Press

    K Alex Barbir, Liberty

    Aside from drilling what turned out to be the game-winning 44-yard field goal during the first possession of overtime in the Cure Bowl, Barbir also hit a 37-yarder and a 32-yarder earlier in the game and converted all four of his extra points. You can't ask for much more from a kicker.

             

    P Drue Chrisman, Ohio State

    With four punts for a 47.3-yard average and no returns allowed, Chrisman helped Ohio State play the field-position game on the rare instances the Buckeyes couldn't find the end zone in a dominant 49-28 victory over Clemson in the Sugar Bowl. He then had a 42.8-yard average on five punts against Alabama, and DeVonta Smith was limited to 18 yards on two returns, so Chrisman did his job again Monday night.

              

    All stats courtesy of Sports Reference.